Glen Cove City Hall in 2010.

Glen Cove City Hall in 2010. Credit: T.C. McCarthy

A Port Washington developer is proposing to build 18 townhomes in Glen Cove with government subsidies to keep costs low enough for middle-income first-time homebuyers.

The Glen Cove Community Development Agency board agreed Tuesday to forward preliminary plans for the Putnam Developers proposal to the city planning board, which will discuss the proposal at its Tuesday meeting, planning board chairman Thomas Scott said.

Mayor Reginald Spinello, who heads the CDA, said after the meeting that the project “is a great way to try to attract young people and allow young families to stay in Glen Cove.”

The 18 townhomes would be part of a 26-unit project on land southwest of downtown that currently is zoned for single-family housing. The subsidized units would be open only to first-time homebuyers who meet income guidelines. The other eight units would be market-rate with no such restrictions.

The 10 units geared toward families with incomes of less than 80 percent of Nassau County’s median income –the median income for a family of four in 2016 was $106,200 – would have the most subsidies: $110,000 in state and federal funds that the nonprofit Long Island Housing Partnership would apply for. Eight less-subsidized units would be for families earning 120 percent or less of the median income.

With Long Island’s high land costs and taxes, “it’s very difficult, almost impossible, to do affordable workforce housing on Long Island without subsidies,” Joe Sanseverino, assistant vice president for the Hauppauge-based nonprofit, told CDA members Tuesday.

The preliminary estimates of unit prices range from $185,000 for the most heavily subsidized 2-bedroom units to $395,000 for market-rate 3-bedrooms, said Peter Elkowitz, president and CEO of the partnership.

Putnam is agreeing to earn lower profits on building the subsidized units, he said. Purchasers still must pass credit checks; the minimum household income for the least expensive units is estimated at $63,200.

Federal rules require that the housing be open to all first-time homebuyers, not just those from Glen Cove, Sanseverino said. The program must be advertised to residents countywide, in addition to people in Glen Cove. If, as expected, there are more applicants than units, a lottery would be held, Elkowitz said.

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